CONFEDERATE FOOTSTEPS

 

PAGE EIGHT: MAY 14, 2011...FREDERICKSBURG TO OLD WATERLOO BRIDGE

 

 

 

We drove up 17 to Warrenton, where Jonathon camped 3 miles north of town on his way south from Leesburg to Yorktown on

March 9, 1862. On the morning of the 10th in a misting rain, he marched through Warrenton then 11 miles west on the Old Waterloo

Road, camping by the bridge over the Rappahannock there. From Warrenton, Carl and I found the Old Waterloo Road and

started following it west...in a misting rain. It was along here that John Gideon had the bad cough and Jonathon was trying to

match his steps to the rhythm of it. Jonathon also tried to march along here with his eyes closed and bumped into the man in

front of him when that man fell from exhaustion. So as we drove along this road, I was trying to picture all that.

 

 

The road went up and down a lot of hills

 

 

 

Along the north side was this pretty section of farmland

 

 

We parked here, just past the bridge over the river and I walked back across the bridge

 

 

The bridge is entirely unremarkable, but it meant a lot to me as this was the place where there used to be some old bridge so the

little dirt lane could cross the stream here.

 

 

As I approached the bridge, eglantine was blooming alongside the road

 

 

Looking down at the river from the bridge

 

 

The syrup pitcher sitting on the bridge

 

 

Flat area on the east side of the bridge. Somewhere along here Seth went fishing while Jonathon and John lay on the ground

and Jonathon felt his tiredness sifting through himself down into the land. By this point I'd been to a lot of places where Jonathon

had been, but somehow I found him here more acutely than in most of the others. I hadn't expected that. I actually got tears in my

eyes so strong was his connection here.

 

 

Looking from atop the bridge to the western bank. It was hard for me to leave this spot. I don't know if any other Civil War

people ever track this place down. It's so far off the beaten buff path, so remote and unremarkable yet so very much as it

probably was that it was more valuable to me than a staked off battlefield in finding my Jonathon. We came 11 miles out

and 11 miles back just to see this particular spot.

 

 

 

 

He had come wearily marching down this road toward the bridge...

 

 

Across the bridge in the way we came, looking back toward the river through the trees. I think they probably went off the road in

this direction as the south side had no good land formations for resting.

 

 

Walking back across the bridge, I studied the branch reflections on the water.

 

 

Where we parked on the western end of the bridge

 

 

Just to the side of the car, a small spring went down to the river

 

 

The flats on the western side of the river.

 

 

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